Postcard from Dakar

7 Sep 2017 - 13:15

Building Bridges Director Dr Marianne Camerer was in Dakar, Senegal from 2-7 July this year, as part of the LeAD Campus initiative. While our LeAD Campus students gear up for their Paris visit on 24 September, we take a moment to reflect on their experiences in Dakar, courtesy of some personal reflections and photographs from Marianne in this 'virtual postcard'.


In July 2017 I attended the“ My Business week of LeAD Campus in Dakar. Hosted by the ISM, a private university celebrating its 25th anniversary, it was an extraordinary, exhilarating and intense week. I was blown away by the camaraderie and professionalism of the ISM team, the range of speakers and the wonderful restaurants we were exposed to on the corniche. 


A highlight was the trip to, and workshop on, Goree island. It was moving to realise that it happened exactly 30 years to the day of the famous Dakar meeting between the ANC in exile and a group of Afrikaners to determine what a future South Africa would look like. Even more remarkable, it was in the very same hotel! The ISM graduation ceremony at the Olympic swimming pool in Dakar was another real highlight, as was the warmth of Dakar, both literally and figuratively.



I was asked to facilitate the social activist and slam artists session at La Calabasse restaurant, and slamming is my new favorite art form! I was moved by the singing of 'Asinbonanga' by the ISM choir, which linked the programme in Dakar with the week in April that our participants had shared in Cape Town discussing themes around leadership. ISM is truly an impressive model for higher education in Africa. I look forward to meeting up in Paris in September for the final “My Society module..